This episode was an emotional one, featuring the idea of wishes that likely can never come true.
Tohru finds out from Uotani that she quit all of her part-time jobs and got new ones, because she was tired of expecting to see Kureno return as a customer and always being disappointed when it wasn’t him walking through the door. Uotani hadn’t said his name before, so when she reveals it to Tohru and Hanajima, Tohru suspects Uotani’s Kureno may be Kureno Soma. Tohru decides to take it upon herself to find Kureno at the Soma estate to ask him about this.
But, it turns out willing herself to enter the Soma estate is easier said than done. But Tohru runs into someone unexpected… Momo, Momiji’s little sister. After learning that Tohru is one of Momiji’s friends, Momo leads Tohru to a secret entrance into the estate that she knows about because she sneaks in to watch Momiji play the violin. This is where the emotional stuff really starts kicking in during the episode. Momo has picked up on the resemblance between Momiji and her mother, and Momo has taken an interest in Momiji. Momo tells Tohru that she wants to play with and spend time with Momiji, and to ask him to be her big brother. Momo entrusts Tohru to ask that question to Momiji for her (hence the title of the episode, “Ask Him For Me”). When Tohru meets with Momiji and tells him about her encounter with Momo, it becomes a very emotional scene. This was one of at least three scenes where I almost cried while watching the episode.
Tohru explains to Momiji why she’s at the estate, and Momiji draws her a map to help guide her to Kureno’s house. Tohru tries her best to stealthily get there, but keeps getting anxious whenever she sees people. When she gets to Kureno’s house and calls out to him, she sees people and runs off, getting lost in the process. Tohru is almost caught, but Kureno comes at the right moment and saves her from her predicament. At first, Kureno threatens to call the police, but Tohru asks him to listen. When she asks if he knows Uotani, his reaction lets her know that yes, this is the same Kureno. Emotional scene number two hits here, when Tohru is giving Uotani’s contact information to Kureno. It’s not the act itself, but the emotional speech she gives, that elicits a emotional reaction from the viewer.
At the end of the episode, Tohru goes up on the roof of Shigure’s house, lost in contemplation. Kyo joins her, and here is emotional scene number three. Tohru sums up the theme of the episode (wishes that can likely never come true), and then suddenly bursts into tears without knowing why. It was sweet seeing Kyo trying to comfort her as he knows how to.
One thing I noticed during this episode, as Tohru going through with trying to help others with their wishes that will likely never come true, is that she’s thinking about her mother. I think it’s safe to say that it’s this desire to see her mom again (and never can again), is what caused her tears at the end of the episode. I think in a lot of ways, Tohru is driven to help others with these wishes because what she wishes for can truly never come true. She doesn’t want to see others endure the same heartache that she’s feeling.
On a personal level, I can relate with Tohru. I lost my own mother last fall, and there are still times I wish I could have another chance to see her again.
Additional posts about Fruits Basket: